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Visas for Myanmar nationals, not for Rohingya refugees: SL

2017-09-19 18:36:54
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Rejecting reports that Sri Lanka had suspended on arrival visas for Myanmar travellers, the Department of Immigration and Emigration of Sri Lanka said today that it would continue to issue visas for Myanmar nationals as usual, but not for Rohingya refugees.

The Myanmar Times on Monday reported that Sri Lanka has suspended issuing visas on arrival for Myanmar travellers to stop Bengali people from Rakhine State entering the country.

According to the report, Sri Lanka had stopped issuing on arrival visas to prevent entry of Muslims from Rakhine State, who identify themselves as Rohingyas.

The Myanmar Government denied the term and referred to Rohingayas as Bengalis-illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Controller General of Department of Immigration and Emigration Nihal Ranasinghe told the Daily Mirror that the Department would not issue visas for Rohingya refugees as they did not have passports to enter a country, but would issue visas for Myanmar nationals who had valid passports.

Meanwhile, the Internal Affairs Ministry said the Sri Lankan Government had acted within the approved legal framework with regard to the situation that had developed in Myanmar and the Rohingya refugees.

In a press release, as the Ministry in charge of Immigration and Emigration Department, it stated that in dealing with this matter, the Government never deviated from the prescribed procedures and would act under the previously approved procedures in future as well.

Numerous groups had expressed divergent views over the past few days with regard to the matter, the statement said.

“A group of 55 Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar was rescued in mid sea by Sri Lankan Navy on March 3, 2008 and handed over to the UNHRC. All these refugees have left Sri Lanka in July 2012.

“In February 2013, SL Navy had once again rescued refugees in the mid sea in two boats with one boat carrying 138 and the other with 32 refugees who were also handed over to the UNHRC. They left the island in November 2015,” the statement said.

“Thereafter on April 30, 2017 the Navy rescued near Sri Lanka as they did previously and rescued 30 Rohingyas including 17 children, seven women and a pregnant woman. They were handed over to the UNHRC as was done previously after completing court proceedings,” it said. (Darshana Sanjeewa)


  Comments - 22

  • Ahmed Tuesday, 19 September 2017 21:01

    what will you do if they hold myanmar passport ? it would be better if you say no on arrival visas for those who come to sri lanka without a passport. no country can issue on arrival visa for those who come without a passport. if other countries issue visas depending on ethnicity some of the ethnic groups living in sri lanka will never get a visa on arrival even in countries that gives on arrival visa for sri lankans.

    Reply : 32       49

    Gamarala Wednesday, 20 September 2017 10:08

    The Burmese military government some years go deemed the Rohingas as non citizens of Burma/Myanmar, so its very unlikely that any of them would have Myanmar passports. Unless its a fraudalent one.

    Reply : 5       25

    ceylon Tuesday, 19 September 2017 21:05

    help refugees.during tsunami whole the world helped the totaly helpless 20 million lankan people.allready forgot .without those helps lankans still dying. via DM Android App

    Reply : 57       67

    SL Wednesday, 20 September 2017 07:50

    we can help people who are assured to be genuine ,If we bring in trouble makers like EU did, we will have bomb blasts every corner in this country again.how do u filter innocents and Jihadist or ISIS from refugees ?

    Reply : 32       44

    refugees Wednesday, 20 September 2017 08:03

    What can one expect (from Sri Lanka) when certain religious group (with equally and supportive to the perpetrators in Burma) almost made our brotheren refugees.

    Reply : 25       19

    Sanka Wednesday, 20 September 2017 08:50

    if you need to help please send doantions to where they are living. pls dont bring the problems here. Start a programe to collect doantions for them. if they going to come to Sri Lanka we will loss the remaining lands in wilpaththu too.

    Reply : 26       35

    Hamza Wednesday, 20 September 2017 10:12

    Helping them in Bangaladesh is OK, but please do not invite them to Sri Lanka, we have enough homeless here, why bring more people who are culturally so different to us nor do they speak our language. Let Bangaladesh and Myanmar sort that out.

    Reply : 9       29

    joihn macgillvery Wednesday, 20 September 2017 04:56

    Sri Lanka is indeed quick to forget the hundreds of millions in aid from foreign countries gifted to it after the tsunami. When it comes to a few dozen foreign refugees , especially muslim refugees , they take the line of the Buddhist criminals in Myanmar .

    Reply : 43       37

    Nadesan Wednesday, 20 September 2017 05:04

    Myanmar and SL has close relationship indeed in the way things are done.Can Nobel laurette Anug Sung permitted to come?

    Reply : 4       14

    Sathasivam Wednesday, 20 September 2017 10:21

    On what grounds are we going to debar Ang Sung Suu kyi from coming to Sri Lanka. Her powers are limited she is not even the PM of Myanmar, the army holds absolute power in Myanmar. She cannot be held responsible for any of the problems over there.

    Reply : 5       11

    r86 Wednesday, 20 September 2017 07:38

    r w in the position to take care of them coz government gives less attention to country people... via DM Android App

    Reply : 8       10

    Hautaum Wednesday, 20 September 2017 07:41

    Hang noticeboard in Airport "there is a no human being here with passport or without for Rohingya

    Reply : 11       5

    fuzha Wednesday, 20 September 2017 07:45

    Was this media briefing done to some extremists (who pretend pose as the saviors of the Buddhist's)? Still this goes to show how far we've progressed in humanity! We used to be best to greet and treat (hospitality) ppl who visit the Island. But now it is reserved for the one's who comes loads cash, not for any other needy ppl. Very sad situation, indeed! as @Ceylon mentioned we tend to forget damn quickly relatively within a short time.

    Reply : 17       19

    Hellwelcomes. Wednesday, 20 September 2017 09:17

    Government deserves praise for its decision. Prevention is better then cure.

    Reply : 7       28

    ashan Wednesday, 20 September 2017 09:49

    We have a duty to talk about love and compassion not only during disasters and religious festivals but everyday

    Reply : 7       15

    SAM SPARROW Wednesday, 20 September 2017 10:08

    Temporary patriots popping up.

    Reply : 6       9

    Yuri Wednesday, 20 September 2017 10:16

    This island people even did not drop a single mole of water. talking like whole the Burnish are here. can you just shut tp Please . shame... we country say Only, give me give me and give more....

    Reply : 9       9

    Citizen Wednesday, 20 September 2017 10:42

    Send the politicians there and will exchange the refugees from rohiniya,its better know?

    Reply : 3       15

    Dhanush Wednesday, 20 September 2017 13:42

    Ohh sri lanka has this much of human beings where did you all go when the same things happened nearly around 300kms away

    Reply : 4       5

    S.P.RAMKUMAR Wednesday, 20 September 2017 16:09

    Muslims in Rakhine State is minority ethnic group in this world, is called Rohinyas. Visa issuing based on Ethnicity is not good practice, If they fulfill the visa requirements, it is more enough to issuing visa, If they are overstay take action, however Immigration office on duty can decide.

    Reply : 3       2

    Dinesh Friday, 22 September 2017 20:10

    One Buddhist country slaughtering citizens while another Buddhist country racially profiling foreigners to make sure the "wrong kind" do not enter the country. Can picture Buddha looking down and shedding a tear or two.

    Reply : 3       8

    Martin Milton Saturday, 23 September 2017 20:49

    Let one NOT forget underhand and surreptitious actions of various groups who would do anything to bend the law of another land. I also believe Sri Lanka certainly CANNOT support increases of population as is current, as population in the East would far outweigh that of other provinces as we hear! Sri Lanka should NOT grant Visas 'willy nilly' to ANY in this manner as many come over and never leave as there is no proper monitoring system in Sri Lanka. This appears to be endemic in Sri Lanka only to her detriment. MM

    Reply : 2       1

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